Film review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (five out of five stars)

(12A) 129mins

Tuesday, 20th December 2011, 1:38 pm

Director: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Jared Harris

I REMEMBER writing when the first Guy Ritchie Holmes movie hit the screen that the strongest element was the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.

With this follow up that connection is even stronger. We have two contrasting figures who are the closest of friends.

This latest version of Holmes is a far rougher person, able to fight his way out of predicaments as well as use his amazing powers of reason and deduction.

Downey Jr revels in the role and you can see he and his Watson (Law) are having a ball.

This film brings in the arch nemesis Professor Moriarty, a renowned university lecturer who virtually runs the criminal world.

Jared Harris (son of Richard Harris) fits in perfectly, at one moment the kindly professor and the next happily torturing and murdering people.

Noomi Rapace (from the original Girl With a Dragon Tattoo films) plays the gipsy Madame Simza Heron, whose brother holds the key to Mariarty’s latest devilish plot.

And Great Britian’s most loved clever man, Stephen Fry appears (in fact quite a bit of him appears) as Holmes’ brother Mycroft.

I’m not sure Conan Doyle would have approved of Mycroft calling his sibling ‘Sherley’ but it seems to fit the relationship.

The first Holmes film had masses of action and the sequel is no exception with very big explosions and quick-fire fight sequences, all culminating in the denouement at the Reichenbach Falls.

Guy Ritchie has got the feel of the period down to a fine art, and the lighting and camera work is spot-on, especially the slow motion action sequences.

Even the music and titles fit in perfectly.

Overall, it’s just superb fun.

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley